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tv   To the point  Deutsche Welle  February 14, 2020 1:30am-2:01am CET

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plato is full costs claim is for him but. 202250th anniversary here. touch. what's wrong with germany in a country not known for disruptive politics original election has set off a political earthquake that is shaking uncle america's christian democratic party to its foundations the crisis erupted when the party's local branch in the eastern german state of the rich voted side by side with the far right and you have tea party to anoint a political outsider as state premier that broke a longstanding taboo on cooperation with right wing populist and provoked massive protest within and beyond the c.d.u.
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merkel's designated successor and party leader on the grid from common bower stepped down the power struggle to succeed or is now in full swing our topic today fiasco in for india will the f.t. destroyed merkel's legacy. is. going to. run on a hill thanks for joining us on to the point and welcome to our guests matthew carney is chief correspondent for the us magazine politico he believes the f.t. hasn't destroyed america's legacy the f.t. is america's legacy what happened in the regio offers a glimpse of the chaos that lies ahead for germany's political system and great to have derek scally with us he is correspondent for the irish times and he says german politics is finally enter the 21st century but it's been all the titians are too naive or scared to notice. and of
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a welcome to vent alina fun to plato she writes for the economist and she believes fragmenting politics and strong extremes are up ending germany's traditional parties with the social democrats in even worse shape than medicals c.d.u. . so i think actually many people have the impression that german politics are state to the point of perhaps the home this that you say they are now finally entering the 21st century what does that mean it means we have sort of the reality of fragmentation happening elsewhere in europe that never really happened in germany germany was solid like a sensible pair of shoes not very glamorous but you know you can go a long way and i mean next thing will be having a sex scandal you know in germany is very staid politics but maybe everything is possible at this stage that is that you refer to fragmentation and strong extremes germany's weekly site says that the party system is now more unstable than it ever
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has been before would you agree with that and what are the implications well i guess not since the white mob republic that was a time of great instability about i would agree with the assessment of that side and i just i think that's great uncertainty about what the future will bring given the fact that the 2 big traditional parties what they call here the people spot is a fox but i seem to be in decline the s.p.d. isn't even was shaped the social democrats. face then the question that will cross a matthew is somebody looking from outside germany at all of this could be forgiven for saying ok so the christian democrats in a small eastern state vote side by side with the party what's the big deal doesn't democracy often creates rather unusual and uncomfortable bedfellows absolutely and i think that's why it's difficult for a lot of people outside germany to understand the uproar that this is caused and that it's led to these resignations and all of this soul searching and it really
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shows how how deep the wounds of the 2nd world war really remain here and when people you know refer to weimar which obviously was you know this period that led suit to hitler's rise it really strikes a chord with people and i think you know germans would do well maybe to stand back into to listen. people outside the country a bit and look to other systems and see that this is perfectly normal to have multiple parties in a parliament if you look at the netherlands they have i think 12 parties or something like that in their parliament you don't have to go to that extreme but germany has for so long had this very cosy system of just a few parties dominating their politics and his dad says now they're really moving into the 20th century and i think for a long time they felt that this threshold that they have a 5 percent any party needs to get 5 percent in order to get into parliament that that would shield them from this kind of fragmentation and that has turned out not to be the case absolutely in fact that was decided post world war 2 partly because
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of the weimar republic and the fragmentation that occurred at that time so to see why this event if there india has since shock waves all the way to berlin let us take a closer look at what happened in their india. it was a scandal even though his concert got the fewest votes thomas chemistry was surprisingly elected state of 13 jr. he secured the position with the votes from the c.d.u. and a f.t.v. for the 1st time in german post-war history right wing populist like the king makers. according to a court ruling f.t. leader bjorn hooker may now be legally called a fascist many so can i just handshake with him as a to boo break out. a gesture from this left party politician has become a symbol of protest even chancellor merkel who was on
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a state visit to south africa spoke out. of this congress of action was unforgivable and so the results must be river. but even the new premiers resignation couldn't calm the storm democratic election or to break what message has 30 just sent. then to win it it is unclear to this day to what degree the christian democrats in theory actually overtly coordinated with the f.t. on that 3rd round of voting that occurred nonetheless the reaction from berlin was absolutely immediate and very fairly negative as we have seen so why what is behind this taboo and even in direct coordination with the a.f.p. i think that merkel and the leadership of the party decided we cannot work with the
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f.t. there are extremists we can know if we don't want to and that would be the start of the decline of the c.d.u. and of course if you break that consensus if you start chipping away at the consensus then. then it just doesn't work any more so that's why i think the reaction was also so strong is it impossible we have to live as that particular development yet derek it looks like not everybody within the christian democratic party necessarily subscribes to this taboo the fact is that the local party leader there in the regio he was told before hand by a great crime current power don't do this he went ahead and did it anyway and when she castigated him afterward he didn't take orders exactly so he is still in his job he said he would resign but he hasn't she's lost her job because she had no authority she couldn't imposes on these local parties because germany is such
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a big country every federal state 16 of them they all have her individual character and for obviously for these people interns they felt doing a deal covertly or and uncle working with the f.t. with and to get a left wing premier out of the state of power in the state was the lesser of 2 evils for them. having a left wing government was only acceptable on a partly the f.t. for them was acceptable really has a lot of a term politics that actually while berlin and merkel is sort of the the brand name in particular in eastern germany you know there are a lot more conservative and they feel that the conservative side of their party has been neglected and this was their sort of howl of protest that if we continue to neglect the conservatives they're going to go over to the f.t. and we were going to have to do a deal with them anyway so they are they are saying that the people in berlin are the people in denial matthew interesting really enough back in the 1930 s. thuringian was the 1st of the german states in which a nazi minister was allowed into the local government that comparison has
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been made frequently since the events that we're talking about in the interim shia are comparisons between the current taboo and that event in the thirty's see air and appropriate in this setting or did they purr. perhaps create more alarm than is justified. well you know john mccain like to say that history doesn't repeat itself but it put it rhymes and i've thought about that quote often you know with these with these comparisons you know the nazis aren't in power they're the fascists is the german media is now now calling the if the chapter enter into. you know that this was you know by several degrees of separation actually that they were supporting that they were somehow collaborating with the conservatives with merkel's conservatives to make this guy this state premier so it's a little bit different i think than what happened in the 1930 i think it's also
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important to remember here that the the facts on the ground entering a n. and other eastern german states are such that it has become very difficult to form any kind of coalition if you are blocking out the 2 political extremes it's important remember that entering the top party the party you placed 1st was the left party which some people see is an extreme left party that was actually the successor to the east european continent is germany communist party that cd and miracles party many of her party most part in the party refused to cooperate with with them as well so they're ruling out 2 parties that collectively got about 50 percent 50 plus percent of the vote and you know but again this is this is an east german phenomenon if you look at where they have he is in the western german states and northern german states in particular they're in the mid single digits so i think there's a too much just area had what was their percentage i think it's only $43.00 for
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exactly whereas i think the link you've got 202829. you know said so there is a shift in in the east towards the f.t. we've seen that over the past several regional elections and you know that's the real. this is the problem and i think this is what happened to regular last week is the inevitable result of the fact that a quarter of the population in east germany is voting for a far right party and even doing it in this particular case the a.f.d. in through india is in fact quite rapidly right wing is it not yes so it's one of the more radical chapters of the a.s.d. and in particular who we see on the picture is a. it's very controversial and one of the most radical leaders of the posse so that's i think i guess what that means being radically right wing what can you just quote a few things that he said are his positions i don't remember the exact quotes but
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he would certainly say things that are absolutely not politically correct and they make light of the nasi of a.c.i.m. and that's for many absolutely to boot to even think about working with just imagine he's 180 degree turn in the way it deals with commemorating or recognizing what happened in the holiday as a guilt cult that is disgraceful he called a holocaust memorial in berlin a memorial of disgrace so he's basically saying germany needs to get over itself it's sort of if you stop chastising itself and look forward to a bright tomorrow one of the party i like also said german nazi period the 12 years not the period was like bird shit compared to all the glories of german history so he's driving it he's driving the radicalization of the party so that of all places it for tough and here shows that you know he's very much in the driving seat but i would say all these did was just sort of stir the pot i mean he was very little effort they've just managed to disrupt the germs political system they've lost the leader of the largest party is gone and they're just sitting back they have got to
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do nothing since wednesday of last week so for me i would agree matthew just shown how fragile it all was the facade looked great but term politics and that on their delayed merkel era's been a potemkin village as a strong wind on the facades fold and let's find out why matthews opening statement said that the f.t. is merkel's legacy. well i think it's her legacy because it didn't really exist in its current form before 2015 in the summer of 2015 the f.t.v. was polling in the low single digits it had it it peaked and some might remember that the party started as an anti euro party it did very well during the greek crisis by arguing that germany should not be be paying for these bailouts and so forth and it wasn't until the refugee crisis and merkel agreed to leave germany's borders open and accept over a 1000000 refugees that the party really took off so i think there is something to
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this criticism that she made decisions there against really the the will of the base of her party and a.f.d. immediately took advantage of that they switched their message away from the euro to a more when you could cause sort of classic far right message which anti immigrant anti immigrant which is what the issue that all of the populous in europe had really thrived on and all of a sudden they took off and you know we have been polling between sort of 12 and 15 percent ever since and in east germany which is particularly fertile ground for anti immigrant sentiment for various reasons they've they've done particularly so eventually. one of the arguments made by the local branch in thuringia of the chances party the christian democrats was that keeping the f.t. at arm's length or refusing in any way to deal with them actually makes them stronger than weaker do you think that's right that might be a point to it in the sense that ostracizing
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a party that gets so many votes here no might might actually boost them and of course the recent episode has set me given this i wanted to basically just comment on matthews you i find that maybe a little bit harsh to say that the f.t.'s michael's legacy just given the fact that there are many other european countries you know. i doing potty on the 7 they didn't have michael impala so i think in a way the if he's also part of the general trend in europe i mean even in the united states although in those countries the these far right parties been around for quite some time you know in austria for example the freedom party has been around since the 1950 s. in france obviously the phone as you know i mean there's an ebb and flow to these things but in germany this type of party in this kind of you know potent anti immigrant message hadn't really existed before the fight with terrorists so let us come back to the question of what all this means for berlin and to do that i'd like to take a look at the damage that those shock waves from there in shia have wreaked here in
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the capital. comp intended as medical success is resigning as party chief after 14 months in the position it was a surprising move but graham carr and has long been a controversial figure in her party where she's widely seen as lacking the strength to lead comic-con that was exit is also a defeat for merkel who took a gamble on a k.k. it seems the era of women in the c.b. issue may have passed. now 3 men are vying for the top party post yet in spawn i mean last checked and free dish maps. the future configuration of the party also depends on these candidates with the party moved to the middle. further to the right the challenges are huge debates about the direction of the party power struggles and sinking poll numbers is the c.d.u. facing a major crisis. would you answer that question how much damage has
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this done to the party here in berlin well it's just going to ripped away this sort of nice facade the natural has put on the party she had a centrist party everything was fine as long as she was winning elections as you do didn't really think about who are we what is our politics who we appealing to who we neglecting and all of that has just come crushing out into the open with this merkel has an even left in the city doesn't know what it is and they're in this classic dilemma they say we're not alone you know we need a new leader but let's not get obsessed with personality contest let's talk about content i want people like in your in eastern germany this were let's talk about content how far right is still acceptable you know can we pull back in voters people we've lost if they would have it more hard right conservative politics then they say no no that's a taboo we're not allowed to the let's go back to the leadership contest so they're going around and around in circles and they just have forgotten you need to pitch policy to various voter groups and of course the other parts will protest and say
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that's too extreme but if it's back in the 1990 s. and they had people. in the party who are literally just the attack dogs that send them out to send the right messages hard for conservative policies merkel sort of got rid of all of them so she sort of put a lot of proper conditioner into the machine of the cds nicely solved but some people like the towel with a bit of a scratch to it on some conservatives like a bit of politics that will irritate the left america really has been doing that and those people have disappointed turned away gone to the f.d.a. and some of the right of the if these that are not lost yet with the right tone the right signal we can bring them back in otherwise we're just going off work with the f.t. and we prefer to pull back the voters instead so messy looking at that report and a great trump count on it power would you say that there really is really the problem here or was she the wrong successor and wrong party leader from the start i think she was clearly the wrong person from the start she was miracles you know protege more or less and i think it became very clear early on in her tenure as
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party leader that she was out of her depth she made one gaffe after another she didn't seem to really have the authority with the within the party leadership that one would expect and the reason for that to be fair is what she pointed to when she resigned which was that it was very difficult to be party leader when somebody else is chancellor especially somebody with this kind of aura and authority that angle america has and it was quite interesting a couple of days ago to see the reaction to what comcast dollars said about to ring and people basically ignored her her statements even even the german press didn't really give it as much attention as one might have expected where she called for a new election and said that this was acceptable but then when i go to medical came out during a trip to africa i saw that in the opening gave this this very dramatic statement saying it was unforgivable all of the focus was on her and on what merkel had said
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and that further diminished come combat. position. is now still ahead of the party and she has a plan for where things go from here and i'd like all of us in a fairly limited amount of time to talk a little bit about that plan and what it means for the stability of this country because we're talking about the chancellor who has been in power now for for a very very long time so 2 aspects to the plan time table and a reunification of the positions of party leader with chancellor candidate or chancellor so just tell us a little bit then delete about the workability of this plan was she wants to be in charge until the summer and sort of see this transition period and then as you say it unify the 2 positions now that for really waiting in the wings to to replace her one is useful health minister marcus it and that the area i mean the shit in those
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finalists fadia kind of like a middle of the road person more along those lines right exactly and hung on the 4th one would be a bad. thing yesterday didn't they absolutely. the mass of course was beaten by a cake a before and quite narrow leave it still so he could make a comeback but so the old the other side they are all strong candidates now people think it's not a very workable plan because it's too slow and there would be too much uncertainty until the summer and you already see internationally this uncertainty in german politics is not very popular and the euro is quite weak at the moment so the markets don't like it and i wonder whether a quick or need to solution would have been better at the state should just move on to the next stage and not wait a little more let me just ask you when think is an operative word and what you said was men have thrown their hats into the ring. many people are saying this good demo
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whole mood of the c.d.u. is also. demagoguing is that it's the decline of the role of women leaders in the party do you think that's right i think that is something to it that's not a trend that has been in charge for a long time and in some ways it may be natural that it's now a man's to an old you know that is i don't think it's the end of a powerful women in the c.d.u. party but secondly that they live a pause now so. what will this phase of reconfiguration mean for the stability of one of europe's most important players germany is set to take over the rotating council preg presidency in the 2nd half of this year is it going to be utterly in disarray yeah i mean it runs if i come to the side of germany is like a car on the blocks and people trying to clean would i can't be fixed or is it like one of those hell you know hellish shares where you've got these roommates and the sea discuss things and nobody wants to cite anything i mean this government the
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current government took 6 months to put together. merkel had a crisis in 2018 and she handed over power that was 2 months gone the s.p.d. the grand coalition partner and of action for the 2nd half of last year they've just got leaders and 10 weeks later to see views locking somebody again so illiterate for more than half of the 2 years they've been in power this government has just been navel gazing and really i'm staggered by their ability to just computer ignore the world the kind of work out of germany and germany isn't working at the moment so this notion of talking to the summer and actually voting at the end of the year is just ridiculous they just need a slap and be told when you just get this sorted but they're in denial of a deep the crisis is they really just think they can rearrange the deck chairs i don't think the c.d.u. leadership actually realise this is a structural issue america was covering up for at least half of her her time in power she's been covering this dilemma what is the c.d.u. how many streams how many groupings kind of hold together or will there be a split and i think they're still in denial about that and the school this is the
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moon when germany will take over the e.u. presidency soon and unless. it says that france is looking to germany and they want strong leadership they want and not an inward looking gemini in pursuit of all this off the backs it's so it's just everything at the moment so matthew coming back to our title and whether all of this could destroy merkel's legacy if we look at the potential successors to her of the 42 of them are quite conservative would they take the party and possibly the country. back toward something very different from where merkel has taken it i think so and that's my personal expectation is that whoever wins this coming leadership contest will be a more conservative figure and i think that the debate within the party will be well we went with the more moderate we went was contacted our after medical that didn't really work now it's our turn you know the true conservatives to field our own candidate i'm not convinced that the c.d.u. talking about stability of germany itself i'm not convinced that the c.d.u.
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will place 1st in the coming election it will be interesting in the coming weeks to see how this affects their poll ratings i suspect that it won't help them the greens are doing very well and coming back to your question about women in politics there's still a chance that the next chance there could be a woman because the co-leader of the greens is a woman and might be their candidate for chancers and i think everything is sort of up in the air here at this very very briefly if you would if one of those very conservative candidates were to become the new party leader would handle americal really serve out her term or do we think that new elections i think she would be gone in maybe not new elections right away but i think that she would step down as chancellor before the end of the legislative term which runs until 2000 points and so a lot hanging in the balance for germany thank you very much to all of you for being with us and thanks to all of you out there for tuning in season.
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this is the w. news live from berlin china's deadliest day get in the coronavirus out bright. says a surgeon and infections is due to new reporting methods the white house criticizes china's response pointing to a lack of transparency. germany about 75 years since the wartime bombing of tristen president frank fall to. the 10s of thousands did the germans today to stand up against far right extremists. plus have extreme.


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